EDITOR’S NOTE (DISAMBIGUATION): The “Inquirer Lifestyle” on the above headline refers to the Lifestyle newspaper section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. All mentions of “Lifestyle” below refer to this.
Inquirer.net Lifestyle (www.lifestyle.inquirer.net) operates as a separate entity, under the helm of editor-in-chief Ria Prieto, and an online-exclusive team of editors.
Since producing online-exclusive original content in 2019, Inquirer.net Lifestyle has experienced a quadrupling of monthly page views.
A version of the article below has appeared originally on the Philippine Daily Inquirer on September 6, 2020, with the headline “Inquirer Lifestyle: Modified Choices, Enhanced Offerings”.
The pandemic and community quarantines may have imposed a host of restrictions on the Filipino way of life, but not on their passions and cravings for joys simple, sassy, or sublime, for new ways of caring or familiar comforts that could use some tweaking.
Under a new leadership and despite the altered landscape, the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Lifestyle section will continue to serve as a cool companion to expanding choices and shifting tastes, with new segments on home cooking, fur parenting, fitness, and other interests.
“With an audience that’s as varied as the topics we cover, we want this Lifestyle to be inclusive. We want to interact more with readers through features that allow them to be part of the conversation, through topics that interest them most,” said Cheche Moral, the newly appointed section editor.
Moral, who previously served as assistant section editor, formally took the helm on Sept. 1 following the retirement of Thelma Sioson San Juan.
Among the section’s new offerings is “The Home Cook”—a Thursday issue regular that allows readers to share their recipes and their personal stories behind those kitchen creations.
The Wellness section, which appears on Tuesdays, will continue to go beyond the one-two-threes of fitness and tell inspirational, pain-to-gain stories.
Lifestyle has also relaunched its Pets subsection, which appears on Wednesdays as a source of expert advice for Filipino pet parents.
From Divisoria to Paris
Moral, who finished Philosophy at the University of the Philippines Diliman, started as a proofreader in the Inquirer in the mid-1990s right after college. She has been writing for Lifestyle for more than two decades, on assignments that have taken her from Divisoria to Paris, covering a wide range of topics from fashion to interior design, from apparel manufacturing to aircraft building.
The new assistant editor, Pam Pastor, started as a 17-year-old student correspondent for the 2bU subsection, becoming its chief of correspondents two years later.
A journalism graduate of the University of Santo Tomas, Pastor dropped plans to study law to work full-time for the Inquirer, where her stints have included working as features editor of Inquirer Libre and editor of Super since 2003.
Pastor has authored two books — “Paper Cuts” and “Planet Panic” (both published by Anvil Publishing) — and is the vocalist of the band Mozzie.
‘Part of Lifestyle’
Moral observes that Lifestyle readers have always shown “a fundamental desire to be in the know and experience new things, whatever the landscape.”
The new segments, Pastor said, will provide “plenty of opportunities for our readers to be part of our pages … We also want readers to realize that they’re part of Lifestyle. We’re not just talking at them — we value interacting with them.”
“Movement may be limited amid the health crisis, and there are no social events to go to, but that hasn’t changed people’s appetite for the same things they wanted prepandemic,’’ Moral said. “They want to live full lives. They still shop, they still like to eat good food, and it’s our [role] to direct them where to get the best of those things.”
Pastor said the health crisis “has definitely changed the Filipino lifestyle and our coverage reflects that. With people staying in more, we’ve been featuring what can bring readers and their families joy during these challenging times—delicious food they don’t have to go out for, books and shows they can enjoy, new hobbies they can get into, and more.”
For Moral, the challenge now is to “make the most” of the section’s pages by filling them with stories “that have some takeaway for the reader, whether it’s information or entertainment.”
“We’ve been blessed with wonderful readers who don’t just read our pages, they act,’’ Pastor added. “When we recommend food, they try them. When we come out with a shopping list, they go to the stores with our pages as a guide. We’re excited to keep producing content for them. Because that’s really why we’re here, to keep serving our readers.”